Please, let me sing

Let me not deplete my strength attacking the thick vines behind which my head, bed-ridden with the sickness of words, hides from the living world. Instead of seeking peace by means of increasing violence, let me breathe deeply into the heart’s vaulted silence. Let the work be accomplished in this private canyon, which the clean red rivers in my veins continually carve. Let the refined Will find me upright and still: quiet enough to hear the cries of a crumbling spirit for guidance and clarity; honest enough to number myself among the hungry, the fearful, and the helpless; humble enough to fling myself at the feet of my Lord and beg, Please, let me sing.

“After Death, The Great Silence”

“To use words but rarely
Is to be natural.”
Tao Te Ching, Book 1: XXIII

Some say: ‘Silence is death.’
Let these talkers live a day as I do,
My soul dying from lack of their death,
And they will refute themselves.

Dead, bloodless words
Aim in vain to compel me
To go against my nature and spirit
In untold ways throughout the day.

My nature is a fire set ablaze by silence,
A storm bombarding a calm house,
A discordant note, restless as wind,
Wrestling harmony. Words fail.

To hear the storm, to feel the fire,
To endure the discordant note,
I must stay silent and listen.
If silence is death,

Let that death revive my soul,
So when Death itself comes to claim me,
I will know already how to love
The great silence that comes after.

“Take From Me This Need to Flee”

When she looks away from me, my heart’s encased in ice
The moment her gaze returns to me, I’d take her worst advice
This dependence forms a bed of coals, it walls me off from her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The fire within, it needs a way out, and so I write these words
To find the way, I need to be led, at least that’s what I’ve heard
I’ve got no new solution, all my problems, they always recur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

I always see her from across the street, walking the other way
She always pretends I don’t exist, to my undying dismay
Today I swore I would enjoy my time, the entire day was a blur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Far I traveled to a lonely isle, to leave all my troubles behind
All I found was a mermaid lover to caress me then rob me blind
My friends they tell me to take it easy, and man I wish that could occur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

She’s never so alone, she told me, as when she’s out in a crowd
Her soul is pure, she rarely speaks; to be true she cannot be loud
I think of her from time to time, and can feel my heartstrings stir
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

The thirst for liquor is a thirst for spirit, this I know deep in my blood
On thorn-filled trails I’ve tripped and stumbled till my face was caked with mud
I’ve drank away my share of days, like Kerouac at Big Sur
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Other people: that’s hell, wrote a man skilled at expressing his own
On many days I agree with him, and wish I were miles from a phone
But I know I’m slipping when I start thinking that others can only deter
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

Well, the snare was set, and I walked in, thinking the trap a boon
The one I love she loves another, though in my arms she once did swoon
I’ve walked the sands, I’ve been to sea, every shore falls short of her
Take from me this need to flee, take me back to how we were

“These Are The Nights”

There are nights when you can’t sleep until you’ve made efforts to awaken,
nights you feel fully the futility of all your efforts,
your eternal failure to wake up in time.

These are the nights when the knowledge that you are spirit is simply that,
for these nights you feel spiritless,
and the feeling in you masters the knowledge.

These are the nights you pick up book after book, putting each one down
after a few sentences. You turn off the light to go stand on the porch,
and you hunger for the moon to give you one true word.

These are the nights when you know the dawn
will not revitalize or exorcise, will only terrorize you as only it can,
nights you wish would last longer so you could remain hidden in darkness.

These are the nights you spend weighing your options,
oscillating between extremes, unable to balance unstable dreams
of who you might have been with the unmovable weight of who you are.

“Feeling Empty in Myself”

Feeling empty in myself
I took to the highway
Where I rode under a menacing sky
Filled with vultures descending on sheep
Scattered amidst dew-covered grass by the sea
On that morning when the mist would not lift.

Feeling empty in myself
I opened and closed the cabinets of a desk
Looking for a letter she wrote me long ago
Her words overflowing with feelings
I once thought would fulfill me.

Feeling empty in myself
I filled up a notebook with words
Looking for the word
That would shorn me of myself
Long enough to be reborn.

Feeling empty in myself
I began to celebrate my fill of error
And lament my still-born success.
I undressed my undirected terror
And began to caress its undefended neck.

Feeling empty in myself
I discovered a dimly lit tavern filled with spirit.
Finding myself unable to soar with spirit
I sunk instead into soul
Until I could no longer hold under
What could only be driven up and out.

Feeling empty in myself
I imagined a life bounded by a journey never taken
Roads closing in on me as I hung on tight.
I put one hand on the ground
And raised the other to the sky
That the moon would soon overtake with light.